COVID-19 updates (Updated daily): PM to address nation at 10 am tomorrow | Rapid testing kits from China delayed

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN INDIA (updated 13th April 2020)

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April 10, 2020 | Number of cases: 6412 | Number of deaths: 199 

Following the decision by Odisha to extend the lockdown Punjab too will remain under lockdown until April 30. The Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced the decision. Any relaxation of norms will be provided district-wise for farmers to harvest the rabi crop. The extension of the lockdown has been made with a view to curb community spread. The state has seen 101 COVID-19 positive cases and 8 deaths. The state had earlier made wearing masks in public compulsory. 

The Indian Council for Medical Research issued a revised testing strategy for COVID-19 on Thursday. The revised approach will now see the testing of individuals within hotspot areas who have cough, runny nose, sore throat and fever. They will be tested using the RT-PCR method. Hotspots have been classified as areas that have seen six or more positive cases. Containment zones have been made across hotspots in the country with Delhi and UP sealing the areas and banning any movement. 

The Central Government has suspended Customs Duty and Health Cess on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks, ventilators and other items crucial to the fight against COVID-19. These items can now be imported at a cheaper cost. The input materials for such items that are being assembled locally have also been exempted from the above charges. These exemptions will be valid until September 30, 2020. 

The Health Ministry has stridently denied any community transmission of COVID-19. Community transmission is when the source of the infection for an individual cannot be ascertained. Despite instances where patients did not have identifiable travel or contact history there have been cases across the country. 

In addition, the ICMR sampling of patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) who tested positive for COVID-19 saw 40 out of 104 of cases with no travel or contact history. Despite this there has been no official confirmation of community spread. The authorities maintain that there have been cluster infections and contact spread alone in the country.

Last updated, April 10th, 6:30 pm

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